I decided to start a new thread to offer you some hope from a former alcoholic, who did not see the light until after the cancer operation.
I was operated on for cancer over three years ago. If you do a search you, will see that I have many previous posts on the subject. Many of these were written while wallowing in a self-pity haze of alcohol. The pain I was in was not visable to anyone, not even myself.
Experiencing oral cancer is like having someone die that is very close to you. The emotions are the same, denial, fear/panic, depression/pity and finally acceptance. The cigarettes and the booze were my substance during my denial, fear and panic stages. Once I made it through the operation, I gave up the cigarettes. Only because I used a patch during my stay in the hospital and they tasted like shit aftewards. But I did not give up the liquid comfort.
I started withdrawal/hallucinations/DT's during my hospital stay. At one point I tried to tear out all of the tubes, even the trachea. My doctor recognizing the situation, ordered me an alcohol drip and heavy doses of Ativan to get me through.
I recovered from my operation quickly and within a two week period I was back to drinking again. You see it made me feel good in the beginning, it made everything the "same as it was before." It also helped numb the pain where they removed the part of my tongue and rebuilt the floor of my mouth. Also, the pain where the neck dissection was done "didn't bother me as much, and I didn't see it anymore." Then somewhere along the line reality set it - THINGS WERE NEVER GOING TO BE THE SAME AGAIN. That is a tough pill to swallow. Welcome depression and self-pity with a vengence.
Self-pity, becasue I had caused the cancer. I was the one that drank and smoked. No one forced it on me. The sorrier I felt for myself the more I drank and the more I hid my feelings from everyone but myself. A year and a half after the operation I went on anti-depressants and XANAX. The beginning of the downward slide to my high bottom, total funcitoning drunk.
On the outside everyone was amazed at how well I was handling everything, yet they didn't see the inside of me. I was slowly dying, both physically and mentally. I got worse, little by little, day by day for nearly three months.
The same doctor, who saw the real me, followed me out to my car after an appointment. He looked at me in the eye and said "Anne, if you ever need help and you think you have a problem, call me." Two weeks later I called and one week after that I was checking myself into a detox center. Not intentionally, but it was two years to the day that I had been operated on, September 12th.
The last three years have been extremely difficult, but ever evolving. And guess what? Things will never be the same and I'm really happy about that!
Of course there is a hell of alot more to this story, but I won't bore you with the details. However, if I can be of any help or offer you or your husband some hope, encouragement or just plain listen, please contact me at my email address below.
Please remember, you have to do what you have to do, only you can make that decision. In the same note, no one can help your husband until he asks for it. Making demands will only push him farther away.
Happy Holidays to all.